International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Cebollas Encurtidas

Cebollas Encurtidas Recipe (Ecuadorian, Mexican pickled red onions)

(Ecuadorian, Mexican pickled red onions)

Image by brianna.lehman

Average: 4 (6 votes)

Pickled red onions are the perfect condiment for all kinds of dishes. In Ecuador, these pickles with the purple hue are at their simplest, tossed with lime juice and a pinch of salt and sprinkled over ceviche. Yucatecan-style cebollas encurtidas are more elaborately seasoned and are an essential topping for cochinita pibil. They're also perfect on top of a burger.

Sometimes called cebollas en escabeche.

Makes about 1 quart


  • Red onions, thinly sliced -- 2
  • Limes, juice only -- 3 or 4
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste


  1. Put the onions in a bowl and pour boiling water over them to cover. Let stand for 15 minutes, then drain and rinse the onions with cool water.
  2. Mix the onions with the lime juice, salt and pepper.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before using. Will keep for 2 or 3 days.

Cebollas Encurtidas Variations

  • Yucatecan Cebollas Encurtidas: Prepare the onions as in step one. Instead of 3 limes, mix the blanched onions with the juice of one orange and one lime, 1 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 1 thinly sliced habanero pepper, 4 to 6 whole peppercorns, 3 or 4 whole allspice and 1 teaspoon oregano. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours to allow the flavors to meld. If you can, use homemade pineapple vinegar, or another fruity vinegar. Will keep for up to 3 weeks.


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